Monday, August 29, 2016

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

My rating: 3.2

This book revolved around the four siblings of the Plumb family all anticipating getting their share of "The Nest" (their inheritance) when all the money is spent making a lawsuit disappear for their oldest brother Leo.

This was an unusual book in that none of the characters were particularly likable, the plot is mediocre and aimless and yet, there is something entertaining about it all. While this isn't a must read, I did find it a light entertaining read.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Light of Hidden Flowers by Jennifer Handford

My rating: 1.0

This was a book club read. I wanted to like it but I didn't. In fact, I hated it. The characters were very flat and poorly developed.  The writing was very juvenile with "she said..." "he said..." "They went..." and no creative prose at all. The character describes herself with repeated negative traits and sums it up by saying "If I were a company, I wouldn't buy my stock". If she hates herself so much, how are we supposed to like her? If she hates herself and her life so much, why didn't she change? I could have understood if she was contented with her life and others found it boring but for her to describe herself  without any redeeming qualities seemed bizarre. I don't know why it took her father's letter to make her wake up.  Also, she knew all along that was how her father felt as she said she resented it and wanted his praise - again, why was the letter such a revelation.

If this had been in the hands of a skilled writer, the story line could have had hope but, it felt so stilted and implausible that I finally gave up on it. I have to call out that I was listening to the audio version and I believe a narrator can make or break a book so it is entirely possible that the printed version might be more palatable.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Restless by William Boyd

My rating: 4.7

British widow Sally Gilmartin gives her daughter Ruth a folder and asks her to read it.  Ruth looks at the folder and asks her mother "Who is Eva Delectorskaya?" to which Sally replies "I am."  This is about becoming a spy, the impact on your life and others as well as the mother/daughter relationship,

I love books that flash back and forth in time and I found the training of a spy to be fascinating. It did slow down at times but I enjoyed the entire book very much.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Delicious! by Ruth Reichl

My rating: 3.8

A woman, Billie, has a wonderful sense of taste and is hired by a cooking magazine. Despite her love of food and extraordinary palette, Billie doesn't cook. Told in a fun way. Reichl's love of food shines through and will make you hungry.

This is definitely light and very predictable but I found it enjoyable.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Bookmarks Magazine Sept/Oct 2016

Nothing compares to the thrill of opening my mailbox and finding the latest edition of Bookmarks Magazine.Here are the books that I am adding to my queue.  This is my quick first pass as it is a school night and I need to get to bed but, I wanted to share the ones that jumped out at me.

Let me know if you are enjoying any good books or have any books in your queue you are anxious to start.



Thursday, August 11, 2016

Once Upon A Secret by Mimi Alford

My rating: 2.5

This book was Mimi's "response" to the press expose of her affair with the JFK.  Apparently this story broke around the same time as the Clinton/Lewinsky affair was made public. The trouble I have is that no one I know, even knew about the affair other than from this book so her 'response' seems to have only drawn attention to what most people didn't know.

I realize that  young girls can be swept up with power but what she described wasn't an affair but a Call Girl. I appreciate that Mimi seemed to be honest and to try to tell things in a straightforward but respectful way which is the only reason I am not rating it lower. I don't care for gossip tell-all type of books like this but, it was picked for my bookclub. That being said, I think it will make an interesting discussion.

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Japanese Lover by Isabelle Allende

My Rating: 3.8

This is the story of Alma and Ichimei. In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis, young Alma’s parents send her away to live in safety with an aunt and uncle in their opulent mansion in San Francisco. She encounters Ichimei, the quiet and gentle son of the family’s Japanese gardener and they begin a love affair. This flashes forward to decades later when Alma is near the end of her life.

 This books captures the war, illicit cross-culture relationships, treatment of the Japanese and so much more as it spans the generations. Unfortunately, Allende's writing and characters felt very flat. These story lines had so much promise but didn't deliver. I loved Allende's Island Beneath the Sea but it feels like her writing and character development have changed since then. Very disappointed.